Author – Bob Gorman
When it comes to sustainability and protecting the environment, there are so many small steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint. There are the obvious ones that our communities are starting to wise up to reducing waste, like Veganism (the meat industry is one of the worst contributors to global warming), banning plastic, and recycling anything possible.
These little changes are great, we are seeing the ban of single-use plastic bags, parents are making more conscious decisions around things like school lunches, and seeing initiatives like Meatless Mondays. There are media campaigns and a lot of environmentalists looking to educate wherever possible. We think any step to help the environment, or any opportunity to educate the community about sustainability is great. So here are some tips on creating a more sustainable garden.
Grow your own food
Like we touched on earlier… the global meat industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse emissions and its carbon footprint is massive. Cutting down your meat consumption to just one meal a day means you could potentially consume two-thirds less meat and make a huge contribution to the environment.
Even fresh produce can cause problems for the environment though. The trucks required for transport, plastic packaging, and the precise temperature to keep the food fresh can rack up a huge amount of electricity. To combat this waste of resources and reduce the impact on the environment, you can start your own veggie patch. Not only can this provide a fun activity for you and your family to enjoy together, but you will be rest assured that the fruit and vegetables you have grown in-house will be much more fresher and healthier than anything you can buy from your local supermarket.
Native plants for local climate
Choosing native plants for your garden is great because they’re definitely appropriate for your local climate. Typically, plants that are indigenous to your area will be familiar with the climate and require less water to thrive. Additionally, native plants are much more useful for local birds and insects as they can offer shelter and food, necessary for their survival. You can plants saplings of flowering plants and fence shrubs around your yard instead of concrete or wood to decrease the urban heat effect. Not to mention this flora would be much prettier than concrete walls!
Compost, compost, compost
Compost bins are not only an asset to your garden, but also the environment. A study by Science Direct found that household gardens had a significant effect on carbon emissions due to diverting of food waste from landfills. Compost bins can take food scraps as well as paper and cardboard. They are low on maintenance and easy to set up — not to mention the cost-free, chemical-free bio-fertilizer that you get and saving the environment!
Prevent water wastage
Water waste is another massive concern for your eco-friendly garden. You must optimally conserve water in your gardening, which can produce some huge benefits. Get yourself a rainwater collection tank. Rainwater is fine to drink and it is also great for gardening. Conserving your grey water (from the bathroom or your laundry) and using it to water your garden in summer, is another great way of reducing water waste. Permeable soils can help with water run-off as they are more absorbent. Controlling water runoff from your garden saves water and lessens the chances of nasty germs getting into drainage systems and waterways!
A few more tips for eco-friendly garden
Here are a few more tips for keeping an eco-friendly garden and reducing emissions from:
● Soaker hoses waste less water and are a better option than oscillating sprinklers
● Servicing your lawn mower regularly can help to reduce its emissions (or use a manual device around the yard where possible)
● Leaves are great for the compost bin
● Try your best to not use plastics in your garden
● Don’t send any of your garden waste to a landfill — compost it!